Archive for the ‘ ~3 to 5 Miles~ ’ Category

The Pines – Exeter

  • The Pines – Arcadia Wildlife Management Area
  • Mount Tom Road, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°33’52.54″N, 71°43’43.33″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 6, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.6 miles
  • Mostly easy, very difficult in areas.

 

This is one of those hikes I would not suggest for beginners or those uncomfortable with being in very remote sections of the woods. In order to do this hike as described you should have a good sense of direction, instinct, and balance. Bushwhacking is required in one spot. A copy of the Great Swamp Press map for this area is highly suggested as well as GPS for backtracking. There are three distinctively different parts to this hike. The beginning and the loop around Deep Pond are nice gentle trails, a good portion is walking along dirt roads, and a stretch that follows an unmarked narrow trail has many challenges. This hike starts at where the Mount Tom Trail crosses Mount Tom Road. The reason for that is that a large portion of this hike is in areas where the gates are seasonably closed to automobile traffic. From the small parking area, follow the Mount Tom Trail east following the shore of Parris Brook. When you reach the Blitzkrieg Trail, turn right and cross over the bridge. The Blitzkrieg Trail is a dirt road that is surrounded by mostly tall pines. Follow it about three tenths of a mile to the beginning of the Deep Pond Trail on the left. Soon another dirt road on the right appears. This is the road to Deep Pond. Take this and then follow the loop trail around Deep Pond. The trail is rather narrow in areas and some sections tend to flood after excessive rain. After doing the loop return back to Deep Pond Trail and then turn right. You will see a rather large swamp area to the left. At the time of this hike I saw several ducks here. At the end of Deep Pond Trail there is a gate to the right. Pass the gate and make your way to the Wood River. Here is a canoe launch and people fish here quite often. This is the point where you may want to turn back and retrace your steps if you are not comfortable with a rather challenging hike. To the right you will see a rather narrow, leaf covered trail. For the next 3/4 of a mile, take your time. This trail, root bound in spots, is very narrow at times and rises above the river below. One slip could be disastrous. The trail also becomes undistinguishable at points. Be patient and be prepared to backtrack. There is one spot where it seems impossible to complete. The trail comes out to a peninsula with the river to the left and what looks like an old mill race to the right and seems unable to cross. Backtrack a few feet looking for some old stonework below to the right. You can cross pretty easily here pushing the shrubbery aside. When you reach the other side the trail is visible again. Hunters and fisherman have also used flagging to mark parts of the trail. I found the flagging fairly reliable. There are a few spots to take in the beauty of the Wood River. Stop. Enjoy it. If you have come this far, you deserve to take a few moments to enjoy the remoteness. The trail will soon come out to a parking area at the end of the Waterhole Trail. This area is known as The Pines. There is another canoe launch here as well as a picnic table. To finish this hike, follow the Waterhole Trail west back out to Blitzkrieg Trail. After turning right, follow the Blitzkrieg Trail back to the bridge. Turn left and follow the Mount Tom Trail back to the parking area.

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Wood River near The Pines

Breakheart Brook – Exeter

  • Breakheart Brook/Tripp Trail
  • Ten Rod Road, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°34’36.85″N, 71°42’21.23″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 5, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.6 miles
  • Fairly easy, some muddy areas.

 

This hike has it all! It follows some of the lesser used trails in the Arcadia Management Area that parallel some of the most used. While the John B. Hudson and Shelter Trails are heavily used, I decided to use the Tripp Trail, The Baton Trail, and an unnamed and stunningly beautiful trail along Breakheart Brook. This hike also visits two landmarks of Arcadia being Breakheart Pond and Frosty Hollow Pond. We started from the small parking area at the trailhead for the Tripp Trail at Ten Rod Road. The trail is an old dirt road the heads north into Arcadia. Almost immediately you will find a cellar hole and stone walls. Just ahead is a rather large vernal pool and mountain laurel starts to appear along the trail under the tall pines. There are a couple narrow spur trails along this stretch. Ignore them and continue straight. Soon you will reach and intersection with another dirt road to the left at about 3/4 of a mile into the hike. This is the Baton Trail and we would return on it. There is a sign on a tree here with an arrow directing toward Frosty Hollow. Continuing straight along Tripp Trail, we soon came upon the intersecting John B. Hudson Trail. It is blazed yellow. In fact it uses a short portion of the Tripp Trail. Continue straight here staying on the old dirt road. After a couple hundred feet the yellow blazes soon turn to the left and the old dirt road continues straight. Still continue straight. The trail soon to start slightly downhill before coming to its end. To the right is a small brook worth checking out before turning left onto Austin Farm Road. The road descends slightly downhill and soon the Breakheart Trail appears to the right. From here we continued straight to the dam and waterfall at Breakheart Pond. After crossing the bridge we stayed to the left on the dirt road briefly before turning left onto a very narrow path along the brook. The trail, unmarked and officially unnamed, follows Breakheart Brook for about 3/4 of a mile. It is one of the best stretches of trail in Rhode Island. The brook has several small rapids and waterfalls. The narrow trail, flanked by mountain laurel traverses along the bank and offers stunning views of the brook. Be sure to bring your camera. The trail climbs slightly uphill just as the brook turns to the left. After going up the hill, take the trail to the right. The trail to the left dead ends. The trail to the right soon bends to the left and passes another vernal pool before coming to Frosty Hollow Road. Turn left here and cross the bridge the crosses over Breakheart Brook. After crossing the bridge we turned left to the trailhead of the Baton Trail. But first we took a peek at Frosty Hollow Pond. The small kettle hole pond is known to be a great trout fishing spot. Today there was a thin layer of ice on it. Just after passing the gate at the Baton Trail, the white blazed, well known and well used Shelter Trail appears to the left. We continued straight and followed the Baton Trail to its end back at the Tripp Trail. Here we turned right and retraced our steps along the Tripp Trail back to the parking area.

 

For hikes in this area I would suggest obtaining a copy of the Great Swamp Press Map of the Arcadia Management Area.

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Breakheart Brook and the trail that follows it.

Breakheart Hill – Exeter/West Greenwich

 

This hike covers some of the lesser used trails in the Arcadia Management Area. It is a rather lonely hike. The hike has some significant ups and downs and footing is a little unstable in areas. But there is unexplained beauty in this area, there are several stream crossings and the sound of the trickling water and wind through the tall pines can be a little settling. It is secluded. It was the hike I needed to take at this moment in time. Starting from a small parking area along Ten Rod Road I started my trek into the woods first following the Bliven Trail. The first four tenths of a mile are uphill and will increase you heart rate. The trail, an old road, then descends downhill coming to the first stream crossing. At the time of this hike it was flowing at a decent rate. Another trail soon appears on the left just after the stream. I would return on that trail. For now, continue straight, passing a gate. There is a house ahead to the right and what appears to be a driveway ahead. This is in fact the beginning of Breakheart Hill Road. After passing the stable on the right you are now back on an old dirt road. It is slightly narrower than the Bliven Trail and again I was heading uphill. Soon you will notice a pipe (painted orange at the time of this hike) on the right. This is a property marker and is just about where the trail enters West Greenwich. Continuing ahead you will notice some boulders to the left. At the row of boulders turn left and just beyond them is the beginning of the Newman Trail. At this point you are just about at the top of Breakheart Hill. It was here I saw a chipmunk. It seem as fast as she appeared, she disappeared. Continuing down downhill, the trail becomes quite challenging for footing. Be sure to exercise caution here. When the trail reaches the bottom of the hill stay to the left. The trail is now blazed yellow. It is part of the longer Breakheart Trail that reaches into the depths of the management area. Following the yellow blazes you will see Breakheart Pond through the trees to the right and soon thereafter you will come upon a small waterfall on the left. The trail then curves to the right. A trail appears on the left, you want to turn here. (If you want a view of the pond continue straight for a few hundred feet). After making the turn left the trail, which is part of Austin Farm Road, you will notice some interesting stone walls flanking the trail. After gradually climbing uphill you will come to another stream crossing. Shortly thereafter, turn right and retrace your steps back over the hill to the car.

 

 

Trail map can be found at: Breakheart Hill.

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Along Austin Farm Road

Spring Lake – Burrillville

  • Spring Lake
  • Black Hut Road, Burrillville, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°58’43.72″N, 71°39’54.40″W
  • Last Time Hiked: February 15, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.1 miles
  • Fairly easy with some slight elevation, more difficult with snow cover.

 

Much like the last time I was at the Black Hut Management Area, there was still some significant snow cover and the temperature was hovering near the 0° F mark. Though much balmier than yesterday mornings -10° F with wind chills around -35° F, but yet still much colder than tomorrows anticipated 50° F day, we started this hike when the temperature was at -2° F. The last time I was at Black Hut was nearly two years ago following the route in the Ken Weber book. After looking at the D.E.M. maps for the property I had noticed a quarry to the west of Spring Lake. A fellow hiker/blogger also posted some photos almost a year ago of the quarry. So this morning I set out with a hiking buddy to find this quarry. Much to my surprise we came across several small quarries before finally reaching the quarry on the map. The hike we took this morning covers a decent amount of the western most portion of the Black Hut property. Spring Lake, most famous for its public beach, is surrounded by small homes and cottages. The Black Hut property all but surrounds this quaint lakeside community. Starting at the parking area for the Spring Lake Fishing Area, we followed Black Hut Road first west then north about two tenths of a mile before coming to an intersection. We then crossed the road toward a guard rail. Beyond the guard rail is the beginning of the trail. The road to the right and uphill is a driveway and well posted as private property. Just after the guard rail you will find a well weathered kiosk with a trail map. For almost all of this hike we followed the most used trail(s). We first followed the red blazed trail passing a stream on the left and then a large ledge to the right before coming to a trail intersection. We stayed to the right, now following blue blazes, where we came upon the first of the quarries. Soon through the woods you can see Spring Lake. At the next trail intersection we stayed to the left following red blazes. The trail to the right winds downhill toward the lake. Continuing to follow the red blazed trail for the remainder of the hike we came upon a couple spur loop trails (yellow and orange) and a rather large boulder to the left. After passing over a hill the red trail comes to another trail intersection before looping back to the right. The unmarked trail ahead turns to the right and eventually comes out to the quarry. We continued following the red blazed trail a little further back uphill to the 1.5 mile mark. To the left is an unmarked trail that goes up to the rim of the quarry. From here you can make your way down to the quarry following the unmarked trail. Although plagued by much graffiti, the quarry is quaint and peaceful. From here we retraced our steps back to the parking area. The temperature reached a sweltering 16° F by the time we were done with the hike.

 

 

Trail map can be found at: Spring Lake.

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Along The Blue Blazed Trail

Ryan Park – North Kingstown

 

Ryan Park in North Kingstown offers a little bit of everything for everyone and it is easily accessible just off of Route 4 along Oak Hill Road. There are two entrances along Oak Hill Road. For this hike I used the entrance by the cluster of ball fields and then followed the roadway to the boat ramp. (Follow the signs for additional parking until you reach the first dirt parking area on the left. There is a sign by the boat ramp calling it off as a waterfowl hunting area.) Near the boat ramp there is a boulder with a pink blaze on it. This is where I started this hike. I followed the narrow root bound, pink blazed path as it winded through an area with ponds on each side. After crossing a short boardwalk I came to the bridge the crosses a narrow of Belleville Pond. Both the boardwalk and bridge can be slippery when wet. Continuing, I then came to the first of the a couple trail blaze changes. I continued straight now following the green blazed trail. Soon this trail led me to the yellow blazed trail. The yellow blazed trail to the right I would take later on this hike, but for now I continued straight/slightly left now following the yellow blazes. As the trail approached a line of houses the trail started bending to the left. Here the yellow blazes ended and the trail was now blazed orange. After a few hundred feet I was soon upon an old railroad bed. The trail would eventually lead out to the LaFayette Road park entrance. Along the way there is an old cemetery on the left. Most of the headstones are tumbled and destroyed. The two that remain have dates of 1827 and 1865 on them. There are also a couple small stream crossings. From the northern park entrance I then retraced my steps back along the orange trail, onto the yellow trail, to the intersection of the green trail. Instead of following the green trail, I continued straight following the yellow blazes. I passed a couple small ponds along the way. Soon I was at another intersection. To the right were double yellow blazes. I continued straight following the single blazed yellow, stopping occasionally at the small spur trails that led to a duck filled cove. The trail soon comes to a dam and waterfall and two bridges. Along this stretch are sweeping views of the pond. The trail then ends at a gate. I turned right making my way along a dirt road. To the right is the pond and to the left is the men’s softball field. Keeping right at the end of the parking lot led me back to where I had parked. The map provided does not show the trail blazes that are actually along the trails.

 

 

Trail map can be found at: Ryan Park.

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A snowy morning along the yellow trail.

Calf Pasture Point – North Kingstown

 

This hike in North Kingstown is tucked away on former military property out on Quonset Point. The hike offers quite a bit in both variety and views. A pair of binoculars is a must for this hike. Also, before embarking on this hike, you should check the tides. The beach portion of the hike will be nearly impossible and impassable during high tide. Starting from a parking lot at the end of Marine Road, we went to the eastern entrance to the bike path. The western entrance is the Quonset Bike Path that leads to Post Road. At the entrance is an informational board with a map. For the next 1.3 miles we followed the paved bike path to its terminus at Narragansett Bay. The bike path passes Allens Cove along the way. At the end of the bike path is Calf Pasture Beach. It is quite possibly one of the best kept secrets in the state as far as beaches. It is a long, clean strand with sweeping views of Narragansett Bay. To the north you can see the Warwick Neck lighthouse. To the northeast, you can see Barrington Beach and Rumstick Point nearly eight miles away. Even further, you can see the massive cooling towers in Somerset, Massachusetts, which are about thirteen miles away. To the east and southeast you can see almost all of the major islands of the bay including Patience, Prudence, Hope, Aquidnick, and Conanicut. Also visible from the beach are all three of the major Rhode Island bridges (Mount Hope to the east, Newport and Jamestown to the south). For the next mile we followed the beach south to the point where Allens Cove meets the bay. After traversing the point we soon found a rocky access road. The road soon starts to cut through the interior of the point. We first passed several shrubs before entering a pine grove. There are several spur trails to the right the meander around the property. Also, keep an eye out for a swing on the left. At the time of this hike it was safe for use. (Yes, it was tested!!) We followed the main trail to its end at the bike path, then followed the bike path back to the parking area. There are no blazed trails on the property.

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Along the Bike Path at Calf Pasture Point

Quonset Bike Path – North Kingstown

 

 

 

This bike path built in 2009 follows the edge of the industrialized and commercialized Quonset Point. The point is mostly known for its military presence and its airport. Today the point is being revitalized and several businesses have made Quonset home. The bike path itself is 2.3 miles long. Starting at the Marine Road parking lot, I followed the path first through an area that is mostly wooded. When the path makes an abrupt left it starts to follow Newcomb Road. The bike path will parallel this road the remainder of the way. The path concludes behind a shopping plaza at Post Road. There is a side path that leads to the Seabee Museum near the end of the path. After reaching the end of the path I retraced my steps back to the parking lot. Across the parking lot is the trailhead for Calf Pasture Point. A bike path there continues another 1.3 miles to Narragansett Bay.

 

Trail map can be found at: Quonset Bike Path.

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Quonset Bike Path

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